Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Big, Wide, Sloppy Smiles

I finally got around to listening to the CD that Kevin made of the Compline Choir. It is amazingly clear for what amounts to a homemade recording. Kevin had brought his laptop and microphone for several Sundays, covering a 4-week span between late January and mid-February.

The whole of the 17 Feb service was recorded, from the opening introit (Call to Remembrance by Farrant) all the way to David Arcus' organ improvisation. Also recorded were snippets from services on the 27 Jan, and 3, and 10 February. It all put a smile on my face. As I asserted to Van the other day, this group has completely taken the Sheppard In manus tuas and the des Prez Ave Maria ... virgo serena for their own. We've sung those two settings for the past two or three years, and I'm sure we can practically sing those in our sleep now. For me, the des Prez put a huge smile on my face - it was awesome!

Ah ... the Tallis O Nata Lux was our introit for 3 February. If memory serves me right, that was the evening David very cleverly wove both the Tallis and Lauridsen settings of O Nata Lux in his organ improvisation. Unfortunately, I don't believe that particular improv was recorded. Pity. The rest of the CD contained snippets of different other parts of the Compline service ... including a rather painful rendition of the last 3 sections of the des Prez. Oi, flat city!!! But indeed, a recording really does tell all. And I always thought Van was hearing things when he claimed we were always running on the flat side of the pitch. There was also the Marian antiphons appropriate for Christmas until Candlemas, recorded 27 Jan, as well as the Marian antiphon appropriate for Lent which was recorded on both 10 and 17 Feb.

It's a good collection of our work, and 55 minutes worth on top of that. So it would be wonderful to pull out the CD and listen to us sing, minus darkened church, candlelight, and incense. I'm sure I'll go through withdrawal as we're only going to have another couple of Compline services until the end of the academic year (I believe 4 May will be our last), and then we break until the start of the next (and we generally start up the Sunday after Labour Day).

There is talk of the group getting together sometime during the Summer, and I certainly hope that comes to fruition. More as I hear of it ...

Again - if anyone wants a copy of this recording, leave me a comment in the combox, and we'll work out the details of getting a copy out to you.

(Note: Picture comes courtesy of the Ardrey-Graves' ... who have moved on to bigger and better things in Western NC.)

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